CHAMELEON LOVER

 

Artist: KOATES

Genre: indie

Notable lyrics: 

you’re gray in rain, and green in sun

chameleon lover, what have you done?

don’t change for me, I wanna see

the colors you were made to be

I’ll hold you close, won’t let you go

and tell you everything I know

I’ll sing to you, and somewhere I didn’t know..

I can explain the irregularity in my posting: I had my internals, and the laptop wasn’t working. I was too stupid to find out that the problem was the lack of charge..

KOATES aren’t a popular band to begin with, not in the indie part of the YouTube, or on SoundCloud, but they’ve gotta be one of the best start-up bands in existence. I came across them on Instagram, listened to their 2 singles uploaded on YouTube, and wrote them a message exclaiming how marvelous their music was. Guess what? they wrote back thanking me! Now, they’ve signed a Spotify deal, but these two songs will remain as their best work.

KOATES are supposedly a band of friends from England. There’s so few things I know about this band, and it’s all from their Instagram; sometimes, I think social media’s a blessing. I know a good band when I listen to one, and I see so much potential here. The music is well-made, the lyrics are simple and sweet, and the vocals are quaint. They make wonderful music with only one or two instruments of usually the same kind.

‘Change is inevitable, but also acceptable’. ‘Chameleon lover’ is a beautiful and heart-felt, handwritten tune about asking your lover to not change for you because they’re ever-so perfect. the lyricist talks about exploring the various shades of their personality, while falling completely in love with them. He wants to tell them everything he knows, because he can and wants to. Everything about this song is so charming – the simple guitar, the beautiful vocals, the endearing lyrics, and whatnot! If a live performance sounds so delightful, you can only imagine the quality of an original studio recording. I’ve got nothing more to say, for the song speaks for itself. All I can hope for is they climb the stairway to success in a short-time, because they deserve it.

PICTURE FRAMES

Artist: Rei Brown

Genre: Indie

Notable lyrics: 

Love, I don’t know what makes you move
I don’t know what makes you move in these photographs
Love, I stare at these polaroids
I stare at these polaroids and you’re staring back

Deep sleep aviations, in conversations with constellations
Midnight trepidations, the detonations of self-deprecation

Ooo I don’t need you anymore
Ooo I don’t need you anymore

But love, when I close my eyes
I’m lying next to you
And I don’t want memories
To fade like pictures do
In these picture frames

Love, I don’t know what makes you laugh
I don’t know what makes you laugh in these sepia tones
Love, I can’t help but make believe
I can’t help but make believe that you’re coming home

White noise meditation, the hesitation to change the station
Radio resuscitation, suffocation in contemplation

Ooo I don’t need you anymore.

Do you ever get slight tremors in your body after listening to an insanely good song? I do, and this song fits in the ‘body-quake’ category, because of how overwhelmingly wonderful it is.

Rei Brown, formerly known as Raybaboon, keeps a very low-profile; his whereabouts are quite unknown and he’s an indie artist on Soundcloud. Who knew Soundcloud had so many wonderful artists?

An amazing song must be able to transcend tangible boundaries and help you float through the realms of virtual heaven; at least that’s what an amazing song is to me. If it has the ability to help you lose yourself, you’re on the right track with your music. Don’t let anybody tell you any different, be what may the genre. This is inconsistent with my previous rigid beliefs, but I’ve matured a lot since then.

This song is an intricate work of an artist who knows what he’s doing. To transcribe this song would be hard, since its got so many complex layers and such. According to what I could make out, no actual instruments have been used, save for a single guitar strum. However, it all worked out for the best, since the song has resulted into something very miraculous. The lyrics are so beautiful, the meaning behind it being more beautiful. The artist talks about how he still remembers his lover when looking at their pictures, and how he so dearly misses them. It’s simple, crystal-clear but efficient, sitting right in with the whole idea of the song. The voice complements the song very will; it’s a little drowsy and docile but absolutely gorgeous. I haven’t feel the absence of a stranger’s dreamy voice until I heard this one.The video is an animated footage of a train moving through a monochromatic scene, with the snow falling in the background; simple but consistent.

Everything about the song is so pure and innocent, with the calming sound of a type-writer and a pager(?) in the background. Listening to this song sometimes makes everything better for 3 minutes. I just hope there’s an endless stream of talented artists putting out such beautiful songs everyday.

 

NEW SLANG

Artist: The Shins

Genre: Indie

Notable lyrics:

And if you’d took to me like a
Gull takes to the wind
Well, I’d a-jumped from my trees
And I’d a-danced like the kind of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would have fared well

I’m looking in on the good life I might be doomed never to find
Without a trust or flaming fields am I too dumb to refine?
And if you’d ‘a took to me like, well
I’d a-danced like the queen of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would have fared well

According to popular belief (ironically), if you claim to be a fan of Independent music but don’t associate with The Shins’ music, you’re not a fan of independent music. If you ever happen to come across an idiot who gives you this piece of advice, tell him that the beauty of indie music or any music, for that matter, is to be free from all the constraints already imposed, and that nobody can dictate your music taste for you. ( I might seem like a hypocrite because of my previous accusations against popular music, but I still stand by it because the facts are right.)

The Shins are an indie rock band formed in New Mexico, in 1996. Their twisted, complicated lyrics are what sets them apart from normal indie rock bands, essentially making them a somewhat proper indie band. If anything, The Shins started the fad of writing cryptic lyrics and using finely aged tunes.

The tune is sullen and smooth, free from any figurative bumps. In a way, it is almost nostalgic, even when you’re only listening to it for the first time. The back-up vocals and the muted guitar tune is so wonderfully attributed here that it manages to stand-out, all the while being in the background. Also, the song very intelligently uses layered vocals. Factually, most of the band’s songs have a similar and a distinct theme of making music. The music video is an intimate, less edited recording of the band members having fun while being their weird selves (what more can you expect from an indie band hehe). There are several shots with the lead-singer wearing headphones. The video could either be an effortless, home-made project or a puzzle. Seemingly, the song speaks about jumping out of one’s comfort-zone as a sacrifice made to a loved one and the video embodies it accurately, since the band members are also doing the same. Also, there are several sepia, black & white, and blue-black shots, amidst the colored ones. The change of colors talks about the inconsistencies in the singer’s life, and how everything isn’t as clear as a day.

When deciphered, the lyrics turn into something beautiful. Genius lyrics genius-ly decodes the entire song, but the here’s the gist of it: the singer tells us that he hasn’t been the most outgoing, sane, or socially comfortable person, but would’ve gone out of his way to make himself feel warm and happy. New Slang might actually be the act of developing a whole new mind-set, after much deliberation.

The Shins’ front-man James Mercer stated that when he wrote it “he wanted to get out of his hometown, job, relationship, and life,” something one can easily feel when listening, especially if they relate.

Basically, the song is about growing up, fitting in your skin and letting go of your inhibitions because you can. You only grow to become a joyful person when you realize that there’s nothing holding you back but yourself.

 

THE LESS I KNOW THE BETTER

Artist: Tame Impala

Genre: Psychedelic pop

Notable lyrics:

Someone said they live together
I ran out the door to get her
She was holding hands with Trevor
Not the greatest feeling ever
Said pull yourself together
You should try your luck with Heather
And I hope they slept together
Oh the less I know the better
The less I know the better

In a weird, ultra dimensional way, I feel a strong connection to this band since the songs are so akin to the stories of my life.

Tame Impala happen to be one of the most sought-after indie rock bands, right beside the Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend, et al. The band is distinctive due to its psychedelic style of making music. Formed in Perth, Australia in 2007, the band has risen to fame in the realms of unconventional music.

The song is highly illusionary, complete with an eccentric music video which is a perfect duo of weird, hallucinogenic music that pieces through your ears and the rest of your senses. Highly creative and artistic, the video fits in perfectly with the rest of their projects. Psychedelic music traces ts origin back to the 70’s, with its cosmopolitan hippies and hallucinogens. Seemingly, the band has drawn influences from several low-lying, homemade music from the 70’s; a slightly inane comparison to Pink Floyd won’t be too unassuming either. Here’s a little fact file about the song:

Anchoring itself thematically from the synth-washing “Gossip”, “The Less I Know the Better” mixes lyrics describing the painful moment of a Bermuda love triangle, with a groovy bass-line and 80’s Napoleon Dynamite’s synths.

Tame Impala lead-singer Kevin Parker said that the song doesn’t belong on the album “because it has this dorky, white disco funk.” However, using “Gossip” as a prelude to this, it is highly needed.

To be fair, it does sound a lot like a disco song, albeit a brilliant one with its funky beats and groovy music. The song is basically about a love triangle, as described, from the perspective of the hopeless romantic that yearns after a girl who no longer or never belonged to him. Essentially, Trevor is the hopeless romantic, the blonde is his object of affection and the gorilla hers. Basically capturing the essence of most normal love stories, the gorilla is a metaphor for the standards constructed by a person when they think their love interest is out of their league. ‘The less I know the better’ is a common phrase used by a person while refraining from gathering information about a crush’s romantic affairs. The song is a clever anecdote about countless relationships that happen to be along the lines of having low-self esteem and considering oneself luckier to have another.

Everything about this song is mesmerizing and dazzling. Evidently, a lot of effort goes into composing a tune of such complexity. Only after deconstructing a song will you discover the layers that have been merged to form an extraordinary product. Further, a lot of effort goes into making the music video, with the insanely vivid colors and razzmatazz. The true value of art always lies within its tiniest components because they form the big picture.

WE’RE NOT JUST FRIENDS

Artist: Parks, Squares and Alleys

Genre: Dream-pop

Notable lyrics: 

We don’t need nothing, except each other

But there’s no reason to say it out loud

The moon is there for you tonight

I feel the beating of your heart

You should forget it for a while,

We’re not just friends I know you want me to stop the time.

Yes, most of us have been here, feeling the same about a friend. It’s almost inevitable, I presume. But here underlies a certain beauty, almost too incoherent to be expressed in words. For now, I’ll let it be.

This particular song is a very lucky find, a result of an adventurous YouTube spree. The music is so surreal, the guitar strokes capable of inducing a psychedelic effect on you and the voice equally delightful. It’s almost too complex, to comprehend the musical structure of the sound. Per se,  it’s hard to believe that something like this tune is hand-made and not mechanically fabricated. I’m not denying that editing is an essential process while composing a song, but how does something as outlandish as this music just drop onto your head, out of nowhere? It’s hard, even for a pioneer in the music industry, to intricately produce such tasteful instrumentals. I can’t imagine how hard and meticulous it must’ve been, giving birth to an idea for something beyond the ordinary, with less or no professional help (The band isn’t well-known so professional help can be pretty expensive).

The lyrics are very unpretentious, unambiguous and mellow, thereby maintaining an easy balance within the song so as to not make it seem too ostentatious. A clever stitch in time saves 9, doesn’t it?

If this is what hipsters these days are listening to, I must appreciate their prudence.

Bonus video:

 

 

TOO MUCH

Artist: Pale

Genre: Indie

Notable lyrics:

Did you scream,

did you suffer,

does it help you do more;

We could be more,

don’t you run away,

we could be happier this way.

The video is a bit unsettling but the picture of that record induces such pleasure, I can’t really say what it is. The name of the band (I’m assuming?) and the color scheme is so well-coordinated, it’s almost aesthetically pleasant (that’s a proper use of the word, now).

‘Pale’ is so masked that even google can’t give me any more information about them. It’s just one of those really random songs you find on digging deep into the surreptitious part of YouTube. But from what I can say, they’ve got a great eye for making music and that’s pretty evident in their solo track ‘Too much’. If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in the middle of the ghastly nowhere, this songs presents to be very familiar and fairly reminiscing. ‘Too much’ represents the underlying pain and desperation when you’re willing to do what it takes to hold your beloved very still and settled. You don’t want them to leave so you try to convince yourself and them that you’re really happiest the way you are. You despairingly want them to break their walls down and open up to you, about their worldly sorrows and genuine happiness. Really a traumatic episode, if you think about it, but that’s love for you. No matter how accurate the phrase ‘you love them when you let them go’ seems to be, it’s hard to put it into practice.

The vocals aren’t the highlight of the song, contrary to the popular customs of music-making and neither are the lyrics. If anything, the song is minimalism at its finest. Simple lyrics, simple vocals and a simple tune with a simple, slightly unsettling music video. The vocals are indolent (in a good way) and a little resonant with the latent pain and that fits the entire framework of the song. You’re sure to find yourself listening to this ear catching tune inadvertently and every so often or at least that’s how I came to write about this song.

CAMEO LOVER

 Artist: Kimbra

Genre: Indie pop

Notable lyrics:

I’ve got high hopes baby, but all you do is take me
Down to depths that I never knew
You’ve got two arms baby, they’re all tangled in ladies
As the black skies posing blue
Let go of your mother and turn to your brother
Not a long gone lover’s noose

Kimbra? rings a bell? ‘isn’t she that chick from that weirdly amazing song with the body paint and everything?’ Yes, this is the same Kimbra of the ‘somebody that I used to know‘ fame. and yes, she’s covered with body paint in that album cover, again.

Kimbra with her Zooey Deschanel- pre fame Katy Perry realness, her decisively hollow but gratifying voice, bizarre haircut and quirky moves with equally quirky music videos writes this song to bring color into the life of her potential, indecisive lover who only keeps making appearances in her life because he’s so wrapped up in his own problems that he can’t even spell happiness, let alone return her affections. in an effort to pursue him, Kimbra offers to help him deal with his struggles and soothe his somewhat wounded soul. well, gotta love Kimbra.

The song is seemingly happy but it really isn’t all that merry. add a sad tune and you’ve got a depressing one-hit wonder. there’s something about Kimbra and her innate obsession with making the impossible look easy: creating happy sad songs. definitely is a complex challenge, that one is. The song simply revolves around a depressed individual (who everyone usually wants to offer comfort) or a ‘bad boy’ who manages to sweep Kimbra off her feet. being aware of his state, Kimbra, like every other good girl (I’m kidding, can’t be too sure about this) wants to woo him and make his world a better place by turning his skies blue and such specifics. on a journey to win his heart over by creating a colorful environment, she manages to capture all our attentions too! don’t believe me? read the YouTube comments below her music videos.

With one of the most different voices in the industry, Kimbra manages to employ it in a very appealing manner. most of her videos are sweet as candy, unnecessarily vivid and vibrant (I’m not complaining *heart eyes emoji*). Her endearing, feminine appearance makes her stand out among the rest of the “edgy” (basic is the word I intended to use) female pop singers. After all, nobody wants to go back to the 2010’s, do they? But Kimbra manages to pull it off so well, with her floppy raven hair and girly face. Also, how quirky are her dance moves? Gotta love Kimbra, again.

 

ALL I’VE EVER KNOWN

Artist: Bahamas

Genre: Indie blues

Notable lyrics: 

And now my memory
Seems to be failing me
What once was fantasy
Is all I’ve ever known.

Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of figure-skating and honestly, the music is more essential than you can imagine; it’s the spine of your performance. if I could skate on ice for one song, for the rest of my life, this would be it.

Beautiful guitar notes, beautiful voice, beautiful mood, beautiful configuration, beautiful demeanor and beautiful meaning; a truly rare specimen of its kind, it manages to stand out from the nonchalant crowd of underappreciated music. the song smoothly transitions into the more, significantly amorous part that will leave your feet hanging from being swept away. the lyrics are just another add-on to the entire aesthetic (and I say that unironically). Afie’s voice complements the song so ludicrously that it’s almost a perfect yin to the yang. once you close your eyes and chuck your inhibitions away, letting yourself be completely vulnerable to the feeling of nostalgia/emptiness, that’s when the song appears to be more than just a song. it’s a feeling of pain, of being in love, of wanting to be in love, knowing nothing lasts forever. the pain can be sweeter than you reckon and this is an evidence. the combination of the painting in the video and the song speaks languages you’d  never thought you’d understood, despite never having been in  that state of trance before. It’s one of the purest things to do, completely surrendering yourself only to be able to feel something so absurd yet transcendental; that’s one thing money can never buy.

love can be so very versatile. you don’t have to be in love with a person, it can be just an idea of the person, it can be a tangible work of art. I completely dispatch my senses while listening to this song and that’s how I know I love it; that’s how I’m sure of the meaning behind it, the effort, the tears and a chunk of the creator that had remained incipient for most part.

 

 

 

STUCK ON THE PUZZLE

Artist: Alex turner

Genre: indie

Notable lyrics: I’m not the kind of fool
Who’s gonna sit and sing to you about stars, girl
But last night I looked up into the dark half of the blue
And they’d gone backwards

Fingers dimming the lights
Like you’re used to being told that you’re trouble
And I spent all night
Stuck on the puzzle

This song, the solo work of the same Alex Turner of the ‘Arctic Monkey’s fame, is the opening OST from the movie ‘Submarine’. the plot revolves around a Welsh teen, with his slumped life and depressed parents, approaching his classmate in order to lose his virginity before his sweet 16th (teenagers, am I right?). Jordana, the aforementioned girl, is a very feisty girl, very keen on going about the whole town with a familiar hand in hers, preferably Oliver’s. He, Oliver, later gets cold feet and cuts his ties with he- you know what, watch the movie. I highly recommend it. It’s a very modern and strange outlook on love; teenage love. there’s no chance for you to get out some yawns, though.

The best part about the whole movie? the savvy decision of choosing dear Alex to make the music, which he has done so brilliantly and meticulously, each song better than the last. of all the 6 songs, this one’s my favorite. Far from his usual style of strict indie rock, Turner has approached the audience with more appropriate ballads which definitely captures the essence of the movie. Alex and his beautiful, intricate style of writing pleases everyone, all the god damn time. from ‘Arctic Monkeys’ to the ‘The last shadow puppets’, he has never failed to impress a wide variety of the listeners. With the ’70’s rock star meets a modern hipster rocker’ éclat,the young James Dean is a proper heart throb, that goes around stealing hearts and capturing smiles with his wonderfully crafted music.

With as little as a single instrument, the guitar, he still manages to outshine most meaningless performers these days.if that doesn’t highlight his talent and his ability as a proper musician, I don’t know what does or what will.

 

SWEATER WEATHER

 

Artist: The neighborhood

Genre: Indie

Notable lyrics:

And if I may just take your breath away

I don’t mind if there’s not much to say

Sometimes the silence guides our minds to

So move to a place so far away

The goosebumps start to raise

The minute that my left hand meets your waist.

 

You know it’s a good song when the lyrics are swell and the song is just…SULTRY.

So, based on my previous recommendations, if you thought I was a prude OR boring, you’re under the wrong impression. the fun’s just about to begin. (also, my mum occasionally reads the blog so i’ll try to tone it down.)

Now, I know this is a fairly popular song and it’s just as good as me recommending ‘Do I wanna know’ for an ‘Arctic Monkeys’ song but, I couldn’t resist.

The song is a neophyte seducer (take it anyway you want) in a retro atmosphere (with the black & white video and everything). it  might as well be a hipster ‘start me up’. with the barely explicit details, you can paint a picture of what’s going on or……what’s going to happen. lyrics like ‘You in those little high-waisted shorts’, ‘Touch my neck and I’ll touch yours’ and ‘Put my finger on your tongue cause you love the taste’ definitely amplify the sensual outlook of the song. the vocalist also adds to the overall sexiness of the song, with his thin, but alluring and unshaken voice. this song is definitely capable of putting you into a trance, as your limbs involuntarily start moving to the organised drum beats as if you were in a club trying to find a potential mate. the song slows down at the bridge and then, there’s a dreamy exit.

The intimate details like the sounds of birds screeching and the waves gushing towards the beach makes it perfect for a beach house date, if you will. if not a date, you can still count on your imagination to do the rest or atleast, the song will make it 😉